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With colleagues in Weber Shandwick’s Geneva office, Powell Tate developed and tested a crisis preparedness and response system for Novartis to deal with major and unexpected crises impacting the company’s overall reputation.

Novartis

The Novartis leadership tasked our team with assessing past crisis response and building a new system - whose end result would be a trigger setting in motion a rapid and unprecedented new process. We worked closely with the company’s Global Communications Team to create a start-to-finish set of protocols and procedures.

Over several months, we examined the company’s current communications practices, policies and their emergency response by analyzing case studies from past crises and meeting with the company leadership.

We interviewed key employees from every division, sector, and geography of the company’s expansive international network to understand their needs and find out how best to work with existing frameworks - and what needed to be changed. This input helped us devise a process which not only met industry and global best practice but was also honed to meet the specific corporate culture of the client.

Our team then tested ideas against past corporate actions and mock emergency scenarios, refining elements in need of clarification and incorporating feedback from crisis drill participants. The result was a rigorous three-step time-driven process, facilitating more nimble, less approval-focused communications at times of heightened reputational scrutiny. This new crisis preparedness and communications management system, dubbed CommsRED, has been implemented across the company and, welcomed by the entire corporate leadership: it has now become part of the basic training and communications toolkit across the corporation

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